True Blood finale marks end of ‘authentic’ vampires

Bobby Shipman

True Blood

Sunday evening’s series finale of True Blood marked the end of an era.

In September of 2008, HBO launched its southern vampire TV series based on the acclaimed Sookie Stackhouse by Charlaine Harris. A few months later, the first of five Twilight saga films hit the silver screen.

The show and movie, whose books had already amassed a loyal following, sparked a quick-paced obsession with the fanged nightwalkers we  know as vampires.

This is not the era, necessarily, in which I am referring to.

The sparkly, over-before-it-began, fad that is “teen” vamp crushes continues on with lackluster knock-offs such as the CW’s “The Vampires Diaries”

The legacy I mention started with Brahm Stoker’s classic novel “Dracula,” and was propelled into modern society with darkly desirable novels by Anne Rice, the dastardly clever TV cult hit “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and romantically feral novel-turned-movies like “Interview With A Vampire.”

Twilight and similar ‘vamp fluffery’—as I call it—are simply pathetic tagalongs.

Quality vampire fiction is deceased, as we know it. And not the kind of dead that resurfaces after dark.

The final episode of True Blood shocked viewers by being anything but shocking. Show runner Brian Buckner, instead, chose a simplistic, surprisingly sweet approach.

The show, which made a name for itself by being sexy and sadistic, all-the-while maintaining its wit and originality, sadly began declining in content during its fifth year when it’s creator Alan Ball began to veer dangerously far from the books it had previously stayed closely entangled with.

The last three seasons never fully recovered from this creative misjudgment. Season seven, as a whole, wasn’t cohesive but had many shining moments.

It started as a hot mess trying desperately to tie up loose ends after Ball’s tangled sixth season. Main characters were prematurely killed off and its direction seemed cloudy at best.

It swiftly turned on its head with the acceleration of nail-biting story lines packed with humor, sex, gore and suspense—the show’s trademark qualities. Sadly, the crafty woven webs fizzled out before their climax.

Still, Buckner managed to send off viewers with a gentle farewell to Bon Temp. The episode was cleverly titled “Thank You.” I took this as the writers commending the show’s faithful viewers for sticking around longer than the southern vampire series probably deserved.

However, at it’s worst, True Blood still stands tall compared to many shows we are tortured with on television today.

Like it’s noteworthy predecessors, True Blood featured raw characters that were not only loveable, but also believable and relatable. Real, I believe, might be the appropriate term.